The Swiss midfielder will return to his home country to finish out his career.
In an open letter to the Union family, Tranquillo Barnetta announced his intent to return to Switzerland following this season’s end and finish out his career where it started, at FC St. Gallen. The 31-year-old midfielder has played in 26 matches this year (with 23 starts) and has been instrumental in the Union’s rise to relevance in the East. Playing mainly in the creative midfielder role, the Swiss international has scored five goals and set up four more. His free kick-taking abilities and creative impetus will be missed by the club next year.
Still at hand is the task of making the playoffs, which Barnetta specifically referenced in his letter. With three matches left, the Union currently have a 99.4% chance to make the playoffs and a 75% chance of hosting a playoff game. Three points total in their last three matches would clinch it without help from anyone else.
Some early options are present for the Union to replace Tranquillo next year, the most likely of them placing Roland Alberg at the 10. Some other options are Fabian Herbers there or Alejandro Bedoya at the 10, although moving Bedoya would create a big hole that would need to be filled at the 8.